Monday, September 29, 2008

During Heavenly Sword: Why are PSN updates slow in general?

Being a bit worn on "completing" Lego Star Wars II, I decided to give Heavenly Sword a whirl. I just got my $15 Nyko Zero Wireless controller from Amazon, so I want to try it as well. On that subject, the controller is very 360-esque

And yet again, I'm reminded why I abhor using the PS3. There's an update for the game I need before I can play it. If this was the 360, this would have been done in a minute. On PSN, times it by 5 or more. PSN may be monetarily free, but it sure makes you pay in time.

5 minutes later....."An error occurred during the download operation". Great.

I'm disabling the network connection from now on. And then....."Installing Game Data"

So...sometimes people like to play video games. Not watch updates and installs all day.

And the opening VERY pixelated and grainy. What happened to all that uncompressed Blu-ray goodness? Framerate....not so good. Some of the counter-kills are cool at least.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

New Old Games; bought a PS3 game; 360 fix

My saving-money-by-not-going-out-as-much plan has the nice side-effect of giving me more gaming time. I'm hoping to play the hell out of what I have and boost my achievement scores a bit. Currently, I'm finally playing through Lego Star Wars.

Gamestops 3-for-2 used game deal was too good for me to pass up. I picked up Stranglehold and Condemned 2. Unfortunately, they didn't have Orange Box for 360, so I went with Heavenly Sword. It was a bit odd; the last PS3 game I bought was Ninja Gaiden Sigma, I believe. After replaying the demo with a reduced fanboy bias, I think it will be a decent change of pace.

I also purchased a RROD'd 360 from ebay for kicks. The seller claimed it had broken traces from when the x-clamp trick was performed on it. My soldering iron is worn out, but I figure it'd be fun to try to fix in my spare time.

A trick using a single strand of speaker wire worked wonders since I didn't have any 30awg wire. It's a good thing, too; I had broken a couple more traces trying to solder wire on to the traces. The trace-patching worked, but it RROD after 20 minutes of being on. I might need to seal up those traces, because I'm sure the heat is undoing my soldering job.

Unfortunately, something is wrong with the DVD drive and it won't eject (or the 360 thinks it's permanently ejecting). That's something I can work on later.

I'm glad that the 360 isn't difficult to disassemble/reassemble. The original Xbox was easy to work with as well. The fat PS2's were really obnoxious to work on, with parts that intertwined and screws everywhere. The slims were nice and easy, although really hard to mod because of the small circuitry (my hard drive addition was a failure =\).

No focus today, just talking about what's going on. I'll do some more late-to-the-party reviews if I have time.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

MadCatz brings portable rock band kit (equals mod time!)

Madcatz has release a "portable" Rock Band drumkit. While it looks awkward and weird to most, I see it as an opportunity.

The ION Rock Band kit is too expensive for a half-assed electric drumkit. I'll spend $500-$600 and buy a low-end-but-better-quality e-kit with my money (3 easy payments, right?). Two options I think of: use this with a real e-kit, or build your own! My biggest grip with the Rock Band kit is the setup. The snare and hi-hat are in the wrong place. Snares go between your legs and hi-hats go on your left (opposite for lefties of course).

Time to scavage for metal! Pipe and some wood circles should do the trick. ;)

I wonder if standard e-kit trigger pads would work with the control module on this?

Clive Barker's Jericho

Free Bonus Codes Site

Pre-order Code: AGEH-56JW-X2GB-DN1N-EGUT

Access Code: 05308
Fast Health: N7J8G0YAANLBJ3
Unlimited Ammo: 5FC5ERNMAD8R2G
Dominator Damage: T1QHK3HRKBNTTB

These are for my reference.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

More gaming, less blogging: Assassin's Creed

I just finished up Assassin's Creed, and finally earned all the achievements for a non-XBLA game. I'm close on Halo 3 and Dead Rising, but the effort involved for the last couple just didn't seem worth it (14 hours of DR? Good hell).

Anyway, AC was entertaining, although it was definitely over-hyped. Mine is the "Collector's Edition", which I remember grabbing merely because it was the same cost used. The story is a bit refreshing, although nothing that should blow anyone's mind like the Xenosaga series or Xenogears. The gameplay takes a minute to get its hooks in, but it remains addictive for the duration of the game. In short: replay value is low. But the tech used in this game is noteworthy to any geeks that care as much. I look forward to the sequels.

So my Xbox Live subscription is up next month. I usually head to ebay to save a few bucks. While getting frustrated that ebayers over-value a lot of things, I decided to give a look. We're down to $45 dollars for 12 months, and a price drop is even coming up. That's under $4 a month and for me it's been worth every penny for the last few years. I'm not sure what the complaint is, unless people are purchasing by the month (which is a rip-off).

Still waiting for home on PSN... but lately I've been getting the feeling it's going to be a short-lived flash-in-the-pan. I also get the same feeling for XBL's avatars. Guess we'll see.

For now, I'm going to go through Jericho by myself. I played a couple levels then ended up watching a room mate play the rest. I know why it was rated poorly, but the game wasn't given enough credit either. It just needed more funding to clean it up and it would have been stellar.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Tuesday Power Lunch

Since my time is limited as ever, time to breeze over recent news:

Sony didn't get 2008 as their super-duper year (yet), so they've moved their stake flag into 2009. Bigwig Yoshida says that pricing, hardware, and content helps their cause. wants to know why Wii-owners are "killing Wiiware". Why aren't we downloading more? The semi-rhetorical questions are self-answered with the lack of storage, demos, and the competition.

Is Microsoft going to relauch AGAIN? A vgchartz poster seems to think so. Marketing Blitz, New Xbox Experience, sequels, freebies, Xbox Originals, the works. Maybe, but probably not to the extreme suggested, methinks.

XBLA is going to get Samurai Showdown II. 'Nuff said.

MadCatz hooks us up with a Fender Bass replica for Rock Band. But it's wired. =(

Jane Wells desperately shoves her foot in her mouth when her son decided he wants a 360 again. She had previously declared the PS3 as the winner due to her son switching sides not to long ago.

Lunch is over, but keep 'em coming!

Monday, September 08, 2008

ALIENS: Colonial Marines Teaser

It's time to eschew every other game. An ALIENS game is coming out, and it has no choice but to be badass.

I'm jealous of the real pulse rifle. I was dorkily miffed that it merely has a shotgun on the bottom, when it should clearly be a grenade launcher.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Warming up to PS3 and PSN, not PSP so much

This morning I was trying to decide which game to play. I figured I'd better finish off Crisis Core before I move on to full-fledged games. For those who don't know, Crisis Core is a single-button mashing slot machine game that pretends to be an RPG. But it is FF7-related, so it's almost a mandatory play.

Anyway, the sun was putting some nasty glare on my bedroom television, and the PSP's TV wire was too short for comfort. I thought maybe I could just play it through the PS3 in the basement on the big-screen TV instead.

It doesn't appear I can do that, unless I'm missing something. Sure, I can use remote play to do basic functions on the PS3, but it wouldn't let me play any demos or do anything useful. Figures. I even spent the ridiculous amount of time it takes to update the PS3 and my slim-PSP. Disappointing, but that's what I've come to expect from Sony. Good ideas, but poor execution...if executed at all.

However, this gave me an opportunity to check out the revised Playstation Store. The layout is much more aesthetically pleasing than the last time I checked it out (probably over 8 months ago). It loads faster than before, and the navigation doesn't leave me gritting teeth any more. And I'm about to get blasphemous: I like the presentation better than XBL at this point.

Now before anyone suggests that I'm switching sides, the improvements aren't enough. It's still substantially slower than XBLM. And there is far less content...probably a mere fraction available here. I'm not so sure this layout would work when the content gets excessive. We'll see. Microsoft is already geared up to adjust to high content levels so we'll see if they can return the tables.

And while the in-game XMB is finally here, it's still the XMB, and I hate it. It's not organized well under "Settings". Not to mention the process of changing any settings is highly irritating.

Overall though, I think I can start playing the PS3. I'm going to give Heavenly Sword a go (the demo is too short), and possibly Lair when the prices are $20 used. Although the trophy setup is here, I can't say that I'm going to play any multi-platform games on this system. I just prefer the Xbox when it comes down to the wire of gaming. To me, the gaming portion is a very fluid experience. Hopefully MS can recapture a positive shopping experience with the next update.

Demotivational Gaming Poster

That was pretty good. There are way too many of these things!

Saturday, September 06, 2008


Owning a house is financially tiring, that's for sure. Because of such, I've been looking for part time work. After getting in a small discussion with a Hollywood Video employee, she mentioned that it was a great part time job for her. As expected, they get free game and movie rentals.

Getting a part time job not just for money, but for perks as well? That'd be a good opportunity to see and play more games I'm thinking, even though my free time will take a little hit.

Anyway, that's about the only thoughts I've had on gaming lately. I've perused the articles lately, and the only thing of interest is the 360 price drops. Since I already have one, it doesn't do me much good. I did complete Mass Effect the other day...I can say I was disappointed in it somewhat. It deserves another play-through, but it can wait.

I'm mulling over whether to start over on Lost Odyssey since I don't remember much about the game. Either that, or I start hitting up Assassins Creed again. I noticed that my Burnout: Paradise is still unopened, even though I bought it at launch. It's been a busy year, that's for sure.

Anyway, hopefully winter will free up some time for me since there is so much to do in my yard. I would like to get caught back up in gaming, but it's harder than I thought it would be. LOL